Two members of City of Lancaster Triathlon club (COLT) have qualified to represent the UK at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii , on Saturday.
Ironman is an endurance triathlon consisting of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and then a marathon.
The usual cut off time for completing the race is 17 hours.
Kerry Oldfield and Andy Ley qualified for the World Championships at Ironman UK which took place in Bolton in July.
Andy Ley is seasoned triathlete, completing his first Ironman back in 2011 since then he has raced at Ironman distance in Lanzarote, Italy and Wales.
When Andy joined COLT he couldn’t swim more than 25 metres but with encouragement of COLT and his wife Amanda, who has also completed a couple of Ironman races, he persevered and mastered the art of open water swimming.
He has consistently improved in all three disciplines of triathlon over the past eight years to achieve his dream of racing with the best of the best in Hawaii.
At Ironman UK, he ran a very fast marathon of 3.34 to finish third in this age group.
Kerry Oldfield joined COLT in 2011 – she came from a swimming background and joined the club initially to take advantage of the open water swim training that COLT provided.
Kerry said: “The COLT family have been an amazing inspiration to myself and after a few years of just open water swimming I was intrigued with triathlon, but didn’t really know where to start.
“The support and encouragement given to me spurred me on to give racing a try.
“After starting at sprint level and working up through the distances, I soon came to realise that longer distances suited me better and went on to compete in my very first Ironman distance in Mallorca in 2015. My dream goal was to gain a place on the podium, which I came close to a few times, and then one day head to Kona.
“Not in my wildest dreams did I think I would achieve both so soon.
“The training this year has been immense and I wish to thank my family and the most amazing friends along with my coach Richard Mason Fitness for the huge support that has been given to me to help me make my dream come true.”
COLT welcomes new members at all levels of ability.
The club has four bikes available to loan and club rides go out Sunday mornings lasting between two hours, at an easy pace, to over four hours.
COLT offers three coached swim sessions each week at 315 Leisure Centre and has a social run group on Saturday mornings.
Members don’t just compete at Ironman distance, throughout the 2019 season COLTs have been racing with great success at sprint, Olympic and half ironman distance and have taken part in ultra running events and duathlons at home and abroad.
If you’d like to know more about COLT visit their website www.cityoflancastertriathlon.co.uk